I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 and 90 together.
The ESB, through its eCars programme, rolled out an extensive public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs). There are approximately 900 EV charge points in Ireland of which circa 70 are rapid chargers. A map showing eCars public charge points is available on the ESB’s website at www.esb.ie/ecars. In addition to the charge points installed by ESB eCars, car manufacturers are also becoming increasingly involved in the provision of charging infrastructure. I understand that Nissan has a number of charge points available through its dealer network and Tesla provides charge points for its vehicles at two locations in Co. Laois and Co. Tipperary. In addition, Lidl Ireland has installed chargepoints in a number of its car parks.
The National Policy Framework on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport in Ireland: 2017 to 2030 states that Ireland’s current EV charging network infrastructure is ahead of current market demand. This is helped by Ireland’s capability for home charging being greater than that of other countries with approximately 80% of EV owners charging at home. However, it is imperative that the future development of the EV public charging progresses alongside the growth of Electric Vehicles.
In Budget 2018 I secured additional funding to support both public and home charging. A new grant scheme is now available to support the purchase and installation of home chargers and €1.8 million has been allocated to support public charging. The Low Emissions Vehicle Taskforce, which is co-chaired by my Department and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, is considering a range of options for effective and efficient EV charging. The key objectives are supporting the operation of the existing charging network and facilitating the expansion of the network, with a particular focus on increasing the number of fast chargers. The Taskforce held a stakeholder workshop in November 2017 to explore issues related to the future requirements for the public charging infrastructure. This workshop included representatives of EV owners, the motor industry, local authorities and other key stakeholders. Valuable feedback was provided which will assist the Taskforce in devising a sustainable policy framework for effective and efficient electric vehicle charging.